Monday, March 12, 2012

Spring Fever. Catersource. Philly Events.

Spring in the Rockies
Is there anything better than Spring as it begins to unfold? When my daughter was little we used to stroll around our neighborhood in Blue Bell and hike in Bucks County and I would point out to her the earliest subtle changes, and then the increasingly obvious "Signs of Spring". As as she got older it became a  little joke and cute reference to her childhood: look Katie, "Signs of Spring". I returned from my trip to Vegas (Catersource Convention) and Colorado (visiting Katie) last week. Weather in Colorado was beautiful and I recalled a quote from one of my University of Colorado professors: "Spring in the Rockies is a phenomenon that occurs with increasing frequency from January to June", anyone who has spent time there knows how true that can be. Here in Philly it looks like this week will be a nuclear explosion of Spring, temps in the 70s, St. Patty's Day, March Madness and many great events on the horizon. Bring it on!
Feastivities wins ICA "Caterer of the Year" Catersource 2012
This was my first trip to the Catersource/Event Solutions Convention since 2006. The growth of the Convention has been spectacular and it is so much more rewarding and enriching than ever. The trade show alone is reason enough to attend, but for me the best part is getting to know caterers from all over the country and beyond. I am extremely grateful to Meryl Snow and Carl Sacks for getting my tuition paid at CS 2012 in return for helping with the Catersource Consulting Unit's free client consultations. I am so excited to go visit all my new catering colleagues that I met from Alaska to The Florida Keys and Arizona to Maine. I just counted and I have business cards from caterers in 24 states, 3 Canadian Provinces, and the Bahamas.Catersource video, watch it! The Consulting Unit is an extremely talented and diverse group of catering professionals from around the country and I look forward to working with them on future projects.

Caterlight, a great new product 
The trade show was probably three times the size as it was in 2006, and they had to move it to the Las Vegas Convention Center to accommodate all the exhibitors, it took me almost five hours to cover the entire trade show. New products and services are always what interests me the most and there were many very cool innovations, and of course lots of food and beverage products to sample. I was reminded how the alcohol beverage producers have yet to really grasp the buying power of the catering industry. As active as they are in so much marketing and promotion we see on a daily basis, they were mostly absent at the trade show and other Catersource events.

As mentioned, I left Vegas and flew to Colorado to visit my daughter. It was spring break, but she had just been hired at the restaurant she really wanted to work at, and had been scheduled every day of my visit. Unfortunately this kept us from skiing/snowboarding, but we had a great visit. Hoping to head back soon, maybe before the snow melts.

Red Ball 2012 at Memorial Hall
Return to Philly and I begin attending and helping plan many events. Red Ball this past weekend was really fun although they seem to have really fallen off in the number of top restaurants that participate. No where near the stature of restaurants that do Great Chefs, Feastival, Achievabilty or even yesterday's Brewer's Plate event. Restaurateurs are asked to do so many of these events these days, and they are very expensive to do right. It was nice though to see the Please Touch Museum fully decorated and hosting a premier event.

Award Winning Simeone Museum, site of Fresh 2012 

Great stuff on the horizon. I'm most excited about the Meeting Metropolis and the Pennsylvania Marketplace trade show at The Pennsylvania Convention Center. Look for my booth. I will be promoting the coolest special event venues that are not exclusive to one caterer. I am producing a special video for the event. If you are a planner, let me know if you would like to attend and I can try and get you a pass.

Many other great upcoming events include Fresh, to be held at Simeone Auto Museum, one of the absolute best venues in the area for large scale events. Dr. Simeone and his team recently won the award for "Museum of the Year" by the International Historic Motoring Awards in London. I am also looking forward to an event called Food for Thought, to benefit the very worthwhile charity, Achieveability. Coming in later April, date TBD, I will finally be hosting an event for the event industry at The Electric Factory. Busy times.
Can't wait to host y'all at The Factory.

Don't forget, all you event planners and others looking for a cool place to have any type of function, I can be your best resource. Call, email, text or flag me down at an event. Look for my new website coming soon to your laptop, i-pad, or smart phone:!!!

That's all for now, maybe this will be the month I can finally get my blogging act together and post more than once.